Treadmill Speed Workouts: A Few Suggestions

If you are looking for new treadmill speed workouts to improve your performance times and overall body conditioning, here are a few suggestions to try.

Interval Workouts

For best results, you should have a treadmill that has interval trials preloaded, or one that allows you to customize and design your own programs.

The reason you want them pre-set is that if you have to manually change the speed and incline controls while watching a clock or stopwatch, you won’t get the most out of the sessions.

Interval workouts mix up periods of intensity using fast and easy segments. You should always do a minimum of a five-minute warm-up before beginning your treadmill speed workouts.

A sample interval run would include three sets of 3 or 4 minutes runs, such as 2 minutes of fast running and a minute or two of easy jogging in the “recovery” phase.

Running longer intervals helps to develop aerobic endurance, while short wind sprints help to build speed and some explosive strength. Afterwards, be sure to do a five-minute cool-down.

Pyramid Workout

Another example of a popular treadmill speed workout is to do a pyramid speed session that requires progressively longer segments of running.

For example, following a five or ten minute warm-up, do a 1-minute run, then a 1-minute jog or fast walk for recovery, followed by a 2-minute run, 2-minute slow jog, a 3-minute run, 2-minute slow jog, and so on, up to a 5-minute run and then 2-minute recovery.

Then start to decrease the run times as you make your way down the pyramid. After the last hard run of 1-minute, finish with a 5-minute cool down.

Let the Machine Choose

Another suggestion is to select from the onboard programs pre-loaded onto the treadmill’s computer. Some machines offer a variety of workouts that offer time intervals, hill climbs, and long endurance races (including 5K, 10K, and marathons) which can all be used as speed workouts.

Fartlek Runs

If you are ready for something a little different, you can design your own Fartlek workout. These are treadmill speed workouts (Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play”) that are best described as free form or unstructured sessions.

While not as regimented as Pyramid Workouts or Intervals, Fartlek runs give you the ability to help improve your speed by mixing up intervals of fast jogs and hard sprints of different durations. Developed by cross-country runner Gösta Holmér these speed drills must be continuous though the speed and intensity will vary.

The user should try to maintain the 60% to 80% zone of the individual’s maximum target heart rate.

Fartlek runs are about 45 minutes long and use variations of a faster-than-race pace with emphasis on speed and endurance training.

More Tips for Treadmill Workouts

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